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Over the last year and a half internet speeds in Europe have increased by more than fifty percent. Unfortunately, the gap between urban and more rural areas, and between north European countries and those in the south-east, has also grown.
When you open a website, the question immediately pops up: what data do you want to share with the service provider? In the EU, on average, 50% of internet users refuse to allow their personal data to be used for advertising.
Action is being taken to increase transparency on the processing of users’ personal data on the internet, but the main digital advertisers still rely on intrusive practices that try to influence people’s behaviours. European regulation on data protection could mitigate the issue, but its enforcement is limited
An exclusive investigation reveals that Instagram prioritizes photos of scantily-clad men and women, shaping the behavior of content creators and the worldview of 140 millions Europeans in what remains a blind spot of EU regulations.
Over the years, Big Tech companies have morphed from mere platforms to major international players with vested financial and political motives and connections. Their roles in influencing elections in Europe must be seriously addressed.
The road towards universally accessible ultra-fast connectivity in Europe still seems long and bumpy.
The drastic increase of lobbying expenditure by Big Tech companies is denting Europe’s traditionally strict privacy laws and shifting more power into the hands of corporations. And the COVID-19 is playing in the latter's hand.
Mass data collection, geo-location tracking and facial recognition have become normalised in the climate of widespread fear of contagion. Yet these threats to privacy, liberty and democracy will only deepen with the imposition of contact tracing apps.
The 5G networks that are being deployed all around Europe can provide inhabitants of cities with sustainable living, reduced traffic and stringent security, but the technology can also determine a slippery slope towards mass surveillance.
Figures published by the World Bank track the increase in the use of internet worldwide.